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TextFreezing Alaskan weather station where the mercury was heading BELOW -80F... until the battery ran out For a few hours this weekend, it looked like the weather monitoring station at Jim River Maintenance Camp in north-central Alaska might have broken the record low temperature for the whole United States. The thermometer Saturday on the unmanned device read 79 degrees below zero -- just one degree short of the country's lowest ever recorded temperature. Then the battery died -- apparently unable to hold a charge at such unspeakably frigid temperatures. The monitoring station stopped measuring the temperature, just as it looked like the cold might drip below the minus-80-degree mark. But it was all wrong, the National Weather Service says. The dying lithium battery is only rated to work properly at temperatures warmer than 40 degrees below zero. Meteorologists believe the monitoring station, which was a private device and not up to Weather Service standards, spit out false readings as it flickered and died. What's not in dispute, is that much of Alaska has faced an extraordinarily cold January -- even by the standards of the frozen Last Frontier state. On Sunday, the high in Circle Hot Springs, Alaska, was 49 degrees below zero. The low that day was minus 58 degrees -- breaking a record set in 1914 of minus 52
TextBritain to shiver in temperatures 'colder than the South Pole' as health chiefs say more than 1,500 people a week could die in the big freeze A cold snap that has left dozens dead across Eastern Europe will reach Britain by the weekend. Temperatures are set to plunge far below freezing point making the country even colder than the South Pole. Forecasters are expecting overnight temperatures of between -8c (18f) and -10c (14f) on Friday. The McMurdo research facility in Antarctica is currently recording -6c (21f) at night. The bitter cold has forced some countries to deploy their armed forces and set up emergency accommodation. Health chiefs have also started warning that as a result of the freezing conditions, more than 1,500 people a week could be killed by the weather.
TextThe Little Ice Age (LIA) was a period of cooling that occurred after the Medieval Warm Period (Medieval Climate Optimum). While not a true ice age, the term was introduced into the scientific literature by François E. Matthes in 1939. It is conventionally defined as a period extending from the 16th to the 19th centuries, though climatologists and historians working with local records no longer expect to agree on either the start or end dates of this period, which varied according to local conditions. NASA defines the term as a cold period between 1550 AD and 1850 AD and notes three particularly cold intervals: one beginning about 1650, another about 1770, and the last in 1850, each separated by intervals of slight warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) describes areas affected by the LIA: Evidence from mountain glaciers does suggest increased glaciation in a number of widely spread regions outside Europe prior to the 20th century, including Alaska, New Zealand and Patagonia. However, the timing of maximum glacial advances in these regions differs considerably, suggesting that they may represent largely independent regional climate changes, not a globally-synchronous increased glaciation. Thus current evidence does not support globally synchronous periods of anomalous cold or warmth over this time frame, and the conventional terms of "Little Ice Age" and "Medieval Warm Period" appear to have limited utility in describing trends in hemispheric or global mean temperature changes in past centuries... [Viewed] hemispherically, the "Little Ice Age" can only be considered as a modest cooling of the Northern Hemisphere during this period of less than 1°C relative to late 20th century levels. Several causes have been proposed: cyclical lows in solar radiation, heightened volcanic activity, changes in the ocean circulation, an inherent variability in global climate, or decreases in the human population.
Originally posted by Cuhail
It was 55 degrees on the last day of January in Chicago yesterday. It'll be 47 today.
The mini ice age you speak of does not exist here.
Been pretty nice, in fact. Not too tough a winter at all.
TextThe Little Ice Age was a cooler period spanning the 16th to the 19th century. The river Thames often froze over. The Norse colonies in Greenland were unable to survive the harsh winters. After 1850, temperatures began to rise. But man-made CO2 emissions in the late 19th century were a fraction of current levels. Did human activity take us out of the Little Ice Age? Were there other factors? And what does it mean for current warming? This question is addressed in Meehl 2004 which examines the various factors that drove climate since the 19th Century. Climate simulations were run using two natural factors that drive climate - volcanoes and the sun. Volcanic eruptions cool global temperature for a few years after eruption. A drop in volcanic activity after 1915 contributed slight warming in the early 20th Century. However, the greater contributor to warming from 1880 came from the sun which steadily warmed up to the 1940s. When the two factors are combined, they account well for the warming from 1880 to 1940. However, the contribution from sun and volcanoes to global temperature since the 1940s has been a slight cooling effect.
TextIn the 1970s concerned environmentalists like Stephen Schneider of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado feared a return to another ice age due to manmade atmospheric pollution blocking out the sun. Since about 1940 the global climate did in fact appear to be cooling. Then a funny thing happened-- sometime in the late 1970s temperature declines slowed to a halt and ground-based recording stations during the 1980s and 1990s began reading small but steady increases in near-surface temperatures. Fears of "global cooling" then changed suddenly to "global warming,"-- the cited cause: manmade atmospheric pollution causing a runaway greenhouse effect. What does geologic history have to offer in sorting through the confusion? Quite a bit, actually. "If 'ice age' is used to refer to long, generally cool, intervals during which glaciers advance and retreat, we are still in one today. Our modern climate represents a very short, warm period between glacial advances.